tv MSNBC Live MSNBC December 7, 2012 8:00am-9:00am PST
unemployment now down 7.7%. the lowest jobless levels since 2008. 147,000 jobs created. almost no effect, as many had expected, from hurricane sandy. this all comes as we get word that the fiscal cliff talks will boil down to what happens between two people and only two people. president obama and john boehner. even all sides of the party are excluded. with 25 days before taxes go up for nearly every single american, what effect will the jobs report have on the fiscal standoff? we'll get live remarks from john boehner who is going to try to
use the jobs report to the republican's advantage. representative, let's start with the november jobs report numbers. they look very good, good news overall for the koirnlt tree. but speaker boehner said this, the democrats plan to slow walk our economy to the edge of the fiscal cliff instead of engaging in serious talks to avert the cliff, that includes spending cuts and tax reforms the president once supported. the white house has only offered a joke. i understand we have speaker boehner to the microphones. let's take a listen. >> when it comes to the fiscal cliff that's threatening our economy and threatening jobs, the white house has wasted another week. eight days ago secretary geithner came here to offer a plan that had twice the tax hikes that the president campaigned on. it had more stimulus spending
than it had in cuts. and an indefinite, infinite increase on the debt limit, like forever. four days ago we offered a serious proposal, based on testimony of president clinton's former chief of staff. since then, there's been no counteroffer from the white house. instead, reports indicate that the president has adopted a deliberate strategy to slow-walk our economy right to the edge of the cliff. instead of cutting spending, the president want to raise tax rates. but even if the president got the tax rate hike that he wanted, understand that we would continue to see trillion dollar deficits for as far as the eye can see. listen, washington has a spending problem, not a revenue problem. and if the president doesn't agree with our proposal, i believe he has an obligation to
families and small businesses, to offer a plan of his own, a plan that can pass both chambers of the congress. we're ready and eager to talk to the president about such a plan. >> speaker, you spoke with the president earlier this week. can you characterize this call? if he called, did he have any kind of counteroffer? and also, we understand that he's just making clear that it's got to be increase in rates for the wealthy or no deal. are you willing to give a little bit, maybe just not all the way to 39.6? >> it was -- the phone call was pleasant but was just more of the same. the conversation that the staff had yesterday, just more of the same. it's time for the president, if he's serious, to come back to us with a counteroffer. >> mr. speaker, the jobs report today indicated unemployment is down roughly a full point from last time at this year. a lot of people say that if no deal happens it could hurt the job prospects.
why take such a risk when the jobs numbers is improving? >> well, because the risk the president want us to take, increasing tax rates, will hit many small businesses that produce 60 to 70% of the new. >> joy: s new jobs in our count. >> mr. speaker, the secretary said that the economy was right to get the off the cliff if he doesn't get high tax rates. what's your reaction to that? >> i think that's reckless talk. >> before the election you said that you would be able to provide tax hikes. is that still the case? >> listen, raising taxes on small businesses is not going to help our economy and it's not going to help those seeking work. i came out the day after the election. but revenue is on the table to take a step towards the president to try to resolve
this. when is he going to take a step towards us? >> do you see some way that you could agree to tax rate increase and protect mall businesses at the same time, maybe going with 37% or some middle ground -- >> there are a lot of things that are possible. to put the revenue that the president seeks on the table. but none of it is going to be possible if the president insists on his position, insists on my way or the highway. that's not the way to get to an agreement that i think is important for the american people and very important for our economy. thanks. >> okay. spook speaker john boehner there making a statement after the jobs report came out. maxine waters is still with us and was listening to the speaker and what he said. what is your reaction to what he said, slow-walk.
we've been hearing that what the president wants to do is a joke. what is your reaction to that? >> my reaction is that its the same only soup warmed over. i didn't see any movement. he knows and understands for sure that the tax breaks for the richest people in this country will expire and we want to get $1.6 trillion from that expiration of those tax cuts. that is the number one issue that must be dealt with before we can go any further. i think the president has made this clear, the president has the support of the american people in all of the polling that has been done and his own caucus, the republican caucus is falling apart. you have people like latourette who says, come on, we've got to do this and others. so i don't know how long he will posture but i know that we're going to get a deal.
i know and i sincerely believe we're not going off this fiscal cliff. >> representative, the question might be, how do we get to that deal? as we mentioned earlier, the "new york times" reporting that negotiations are now down to just the speaker. >> yes. >> and the president. this is at speaker boehner's request. i want to get your reaction. here's david axelrod talking about the politics behind all of this. >> okay. >> both the president and the speaker are very fluent in the basic numbers. they have been living with them for some time now. so as i said, i don't think that there's a lot of mystery about this. the politics has to be traverse. they've got to get through the rocky shoals of grover norquist. >> congresswoman, some democrats are saying that this is not the situation, it's not going to be mano, as we've been saying. what do you know about that in terms of how they are negotiating and is it the best for them to be one on one? >> well, i think it does not
hurt for them to be one on one. i have to be concerned about what the leaders are saying about being excluded. but if we take this moment and if this is what they have decided to do, let them go in there and say something to each other, that they feel they cannot say with anyone else in the room and see if that's going to move this forward. i don't think it hurts to have them do one on one for a part of this negotiation. >> and as we get to the negotiations, what is the give and take. if speaker john boehner is, as our political director chuck todd says, ready to eat their own on the tax rate, do you go for 37 instead of 39.5 or 35? on what entitlements do you believe democrats are ready to eat their own? >> well, first of all, on the tax rate, i do think that this is some talk somewhere between
37 and 39.6 and i do think some agreement can be reached on that. in terms of entitlement, social security should be off the table altogether and we're not going to take any big cuts in medicare. we can cannot just, you know, throw out the safety nets for the average american. they have got to come to some agreement about tax cuts and some of the other areas. the president has offered to do that. he's put, you know, possible tax cuts on the table. we've got to look and see if we can combine not only the tax rate increase with some loophole closings that perhaps will even make up to the 39.6. so there's a lot of ways we can go with this. but let me just warn everybody about this. and that is, that we're not going to support the idea that entitlements are going to be
substantially done in or reduced. >> so they are on the table? >> social security is not on the table. >> congresswoman maxine waters of california, thank you so much for spending your time today. >> you're welcome. much more now on the jobs report. joining me is former economic adviser to vice president joe biden, jared bernstein, and ron insana. you heard the speaker and his comments moments ago. this is good for the president, the jobs report, no doubt. he can argue that, my policies have been working, better tax hikes for the upper 2%, more amenable because the economy is coming along. how do democrats leverage this in the key cliff negotiations going on? >> i think the key point is that there is some momentum in the
jobs report. the labor market diminished a little bit in december. that's why the unemployment rate fell down, not because of extra jobs. but all told, especially expecting sandy's damage, it was a pretty good report and it shows that there's some und underlying momentum. the argument from the president or from anyone who cares are this economic recovery, it would be a crazy time to throw a monkey wrench at an ongoing recovery that has a little bit of momentum. >> ron, to you on this. talking about sandy, there seems to be a lack of sandy effect as some had thought initially. we see a pullback, a little less than half of a percent. we have positive indications there that says the job market is doing better, too. what's your thought here?
what drove this unexpected gain in jobs, basically double what some consensus numbers were? >> i think part of it is the data in which it was collected. we had an early thanksgiving so seasonal hiring for the holidays offset the superstorm sandy. in addition, i think -- and where i would differ from jared just a little bit and we rarely do -- the underlying economy is consideri considerably stronger. if you take into account the number of baby boomers that are retiring, that has not been talked about and does effect the labor force participation rate. the broadest measure of unemployment, the unemployed and those who left the workforce fell to 14.7%. so i think things are getting better. what i'm most afraid of is the type of talk we heard from speaker boehner and maxine waters.
they are taking us to the cliff on both sides. the fact that entitlements is off the table is crazy. my friend david kotac said we should go all go to our window as was done in the movie "network" and yell out the window and say, i'm mad as hell. quit messing around with the economy. >> jared, what do you think? >> listen, if john is correct that the economy is even doing a little better than we think, all the more reason -- it kind of underscores my basic point, which is all the more reason not to be throwing these self-inflicted wounds into the mix. now we're talking about a debt ceiling hostage situation. you know, with policy makers like this, who needs enemies? their job should be to take what momentum is there and give it a boost. listen, on the labor force participation rate, i'm sure that retiring baby boomers are part of it but i would argue that more than half of them sl
cyclical, meaning that it comes from a weak job market. >> okay, jared bernstein and ron insana, thank you. governor rick scott could make the history books if he is appointed to jim demint's senate seat. melissa perry sounds off. and one of the most cited economists in the world. professor sargent, can you tell me what cd rates will be in two years? no. if he can't, no one can. that's why ally has a raise your rate cd. ally bank. your money needs an ally. is bigger than we think ... sometimelike the flu.fer from with aches, fever and chills- the flu's a really big deal. so why treat it like it's a little cold?
there's something that works differently than over-the-counter remedies. prescription tamiflu attacks the flu virus at its source. so don't wait. call your doctor right away. tamiflu is prescription medicine for treating the flu in adults and children one year and older whose flu symptoms started within the last two days. before taking tamiflu tell your doctor if you're pregnant, nursing. have serious health conditions, or take other medicines. if you develop an allergic reaction, a severe rash, or signs of unusual behavior, stop taking tamiflu and call your doctor immediately. children and adolescents in particular may be at an increased risk of seizures, confusion or abnormal behavior. the most common side effects are mild to moderate nausea and vomiting. the flu comes on fast, so ask your doctor about tamiflu. prescription for flu. olaf gets great rewards for his small business! pizza! [ garth ] olaf's small business earns 2% cash back on every purchase, every day! helium delivery. put it on my spark card!
senator braun, and senator bronze. politico says this about tim scott, it's scott's ability to articulate among the poor that put him ahead of the pact. he grew up in poverty and was raised by a single mother. on morning joe it was said this about his republican colleague. >> i like tim scott because he's a good guy. he doesn't say crazy things. he doesn't attack people with nasty labels. so he's a good guy. keep in mind, however, that -- and i think this is a mistake that the republican party has made. they assume that if they reach out to african-americans, meaning running radio spots on black radio, that's reaching out. that's not. there are policy changes that are going to take place and tim scott is going to have the policies that demint had. >> joining me now is melissa harris perry which airs on
msnbc. melissa, good to see you. could he be transformative in different ways, tim scott? >> i don't think he's transformative. the numbers that you showed about the paultry number of americans is because it's difficult to win statewide office. what would be transformative, republican or democrat, south or north or midwest to the west could actually win statewide office. this is much like an appointment and i don't think you would see transformation. on the other hand, it's a good pick for a republican governor out of south carolina? sure, it's a reasonable pick. i don't think that african-americans are going to be particularly thrilled with a republican southerner. but diversity matters and it would be nice to have an african-american in the senate. >> governor nikki haley will be appointed says this, i want to
make two things clear from the outset. number one, i will not take two things and jim demint and i share. just to the point that you are making there, he goes -- he is apointed. he does go up for election. is the south ready for a black senator? >> i think we ought to be careful, assuming this is a southern problem, only massachusetts has elected african-american statewide in the u.s. senate and one of the guys in illinois ended up president. it's not just a southern issue and i think we should be really careful about that. that said, certainly he runs from a position of strain if he runs as an incumbent. it gives him a more likelihood to win if he runs for re-election. >> i was looking at some of his firsts. it wouldn't be the first time he made history. he was the first african-american elected to congress in 114 years. his election to the charleston
city council the first time since republican was elected to any office in south carolina since reconstruction. so is he not new to firsts based on that little bit of history. but you did mention barack obama, you did mention that he's the first african-american president to be re-elected and some talk about tim scott and the president of the idea of being post-racial. are we there? >> certainly not. the idea that we're breathless of the appointment of a black american appointed. also the gubernatorial position which is the other statewide position. look, we elect presidents from a very narrow categories of people. senators, governors, and vice presidents. until we have a substantial number of people as governors, senators, and vice presidents, we're not really looking at a time when our presidency will be
dramatically different. >> and until we don't have to talk about this. >> right. >> don't forget to catch melissa perry as she hosts melissa harris-perry. tragedy strikes the hospital. an employee connected to the prank calls by australian djs. we earned them. and if washington tries to cram decisions about the future... of these programs into a last minute budget deal... we'll all pay the price. aarp is fighting to protect seniors with responsible... solutions that strengthen medicare and... social security for generations to come. we can do better than a last minute deal... that would hurt all of us.
there's tragic news coming from london surrounding kate middleton's pregnancy. one day after the duchess of came bridge left a london hospital, one of the nurses that left there was found dead. she was the victim of a hoax phone call by a number of djs. take a listen. >> hello, there. could i please speak to kate, please? my granddaughter? >> yes, just hold on, ma'am. >> thank you. >> kate, my darling, are you there? >> hello, good morning. this is the nurse speaking. how may i help you? >> hello, i'm just after my
granddaughter kate. >> moments ago, hospital officials confirmed the death of the nurse they called popular and well respected. >> the hospital had been supporting her through this very difficult time. she was a first-class nurse who cared diligently for hundreds of patients during her time with us. everyone is shocked about the loss of the much loved and valued colleague. >> nbc's michelle kosinski is live. what else have we learned about the victim? >> not much. the hospital said that she worked there at king edward the hospital for more than four years. she cared for hundreds of patients. but that's really about it. the hospital isn't even saying the manner of death but according to reports here in the uk, multiple sources say she
took her own life and was found on the hospital premises this morning. they tried to revive her but unsuccessfully. the hospital interestingly said that they have been supporting her through this difficult time and telling us that she was having a tough time. we don't know exactly why or what else was going on in this woman's life. but it appears that she did commit suicide on the grounds of the hospital. anyone else who worked with her but people described as stunned, that the news is staggering. one of the things that this prank phone call really highlighted, aside from the fact that it was a breach of security, was the kindness and unsuspecting nature of both of the nurses who took the phone call. this nurse in question today was the one who originally took the call and then transferred it to the duchess of cambridge's ward.
the hospital even said, you know what, these nurses are trained to care for patients, not trained to deal with journalistic trickery. >> michelle, thank you. talk about a major flip-flop from the senate majority. mitch mcconnell forced to filibuster his own proposal. senator mark warner weighs in on that. gh... [ buzz! ] take dayquil. use nyquil d... [ ding! ] ...and get longer nighttime cough relief. use tylenol cold multisymptom nighttime... [ coughs ] [ buzz! ] [ screams ] ...and you could find yourself... honey? ...on the couch. nyquil d. 50% longer cough and stuffy nose relief.
oh, no, it's dividends, too. the rate on our dividends would more than double. but we depend on our dividends to help pay our bills. we worked hard to save. well, the president and congress have got to work together to stop this dividend tax hike. before it's too late. first he supported and now he doesn't. we're talking about mitch mcconnell's legislation to avert defaulting on the nation's debt t would give the president greater power to raise the debt ceiling without approval, something the president wants. senator mcconnell brought up the legislation yesterday morning but by yesterday afternoon he was objecting. >> is there an objection? >> preserving the right to object matters of this controversy, what we're talking about is a perpetual debt ceiling grant in effect to the president.
>> this morning, republican leader asked for consent on his proposal. just now i told everyone that we're willing to have that vote. up or down vote. and now a republican lawmaker objects his own idea. so i guess we have a filibuster of his own bill. so i object. >> is there an objection to the original request? >> yeah, i object. >> objection is heard. got whiplash. >> whiplash, she says. democrats called his bluff and had the vote. let's bring in senator mark warner, a democrat from virginia and also a member of the budget committee. a lot of moving parts today, senator, in the capitol. speaker boehner coming out at 11:00 a.m. saying no progress to talk about. we don't know if nancy pelosi will be speaking later on today at noon. we know president obama will be
speaking. does this misstep that we were just talking about, does it hurt? is this just mcconnell really just trying to get his say into this process? >> you know, richard, i don't think so. i actually think senator mcconnell's proposal was a pretty good one regardless of who is president. president obama or then governor romney. the notion that this country every 12, 14 month is going to have this hostage taking by congress over a debt ceiling is not a way to run, you know, the largest enterprise in the world, the united states government. there's nothing in the constitution that talks about a debt ceiling. this has become kind of in the past a pro forma process that has now turned into a financial armageddon each time it comes about and i do think granting the president these additional rights and then allowing congress with a two-thirds vote to say, hold on here, that might be a more appropriate way
regardless of who is the president is. but i don't think yesterday's antics have that much to do with at least the current stage of the boehner/obama discussions. >> let's talk about the current stage. "new york times" saying it's one on one right now with the speaker and the president yet some leading democrats are saying, no, that's not the case. that they are still involved in the process. what do you know about that? >> well, it seems to me it's a pretty close circle at this point. an awful lot of us have been involved in the bipartisan efforts for 2 1/2 years. we understand that it's important to give the president and speaker some space. those of us who actually have plans that were north of $4 trillion in debt reduction, we're ready to add our shoulders to the wheel at the same time. >> so pelosi is not involved at this point? >> i can't say what senator reid and nancy pelosi are doing. i think the main talks are between the speaker and the
president. looking at plans like the simpson/bowles plan, the gang of six plan, they all included discussions with tax rates up at 39%, the '90s rates, what the president is requesting right now. my hope is the sooner the better. one of the things we're doing to the economy, we saw the jobs numbers. we're pretty good today. this economy wants to take off again. what's holding it back right now is the political uncertainty about whether we're going to go over the cliff and each day that clicks off, we are holding back retail sales during the christmas season and that's just crazy. >> senator, on entitlements, the other side of the equation here if the tax rates have gotten what the president wants, which is a raise to 39.6%. the three national unions have that come out with an ad campaign are targeting two senators. you are one of them. as well as two republican
congressman as well. they are saying don't touch social security or medicare or other entitlements. would you be open to touching them in a deal? >> interest groups have every right to advocate but we've seen the lack of power that some of the negative attacks that were spent against a lot of candidates. i think medicare is a great program. it needs to be protected. but anyone that denies the math around these programs is just disconnected to reality. the fact is, when i was a kid, there were 16 people working for every one person on social security. today there are three. that is a benefit because that is a success of the program because people are living longer. but it does mean the math in terms of the amount people pay in versus what is coming out doesn't match up anymore. and we do need to reform social security separate from the
deficit discussion. so security trust fund doesn't have anything to do with the debt and deficit. but the idea that we're going to simply kick the can on that and have across the board social security cuts, you know, 15 years from now because we didn't step up responsibly i think does a great disservice to those who expected to have those benefits when they reach retirement age. >> senator mark warner, thank you for your time today. >> thank you, richard. let's bring in our political power panel, melinda, democratic strategist morris reed. let's start with you hogan. i want to start with this. senator harry reid used an interesting analogy on the floor to describe the current state of the republican party. listen to this first. >> he's got a problem. he has three quarter backs, sanchez, he's got tim tebow, a guy by the name of mcilroy.
he can't describe who is going to be the quarterback. that's the same problem that the republicans are having. romney is there but he's in the background. who is the quarterback, mr. president. >> hogan, what do you think? who's the quarterback? >> what a great question. i think, look, inherently the democrats have the advantage with the bully pulpit of the presidency. we don't have that out there right now. there are people who can talk about republican governance and why it's better and why we should lean towards that but until you have that, it's tough to rise to the level of the gravitas of those in the white house. this whole notion that we're some discome bob lated party, we took it on the election and there will be scrambling around after a big loss like that.
but we've got some voices out there and we'll see as we get closer and closer to it, we'll see who is running the show and i'm sure there will be new fresh faces out there and some of the old folks as welcoming out and talking about republican governance and fighting for lower ta lower taxes and less spending. >> here is harry reid's comeback. >> there's some confusion about who is the quarterback. of course, that is quite common when you don't have the white house. but there's no doubt who the quarterback is on the democratic side. the quarterback is the president of the united states. and unfortunately he keeps throwing interceptions. and we're moving backward and backward and backward towards the goal line. >> well, morris, this back and forth that we've been watching right here, this reminds us of the poll that most americans
believe our elected leaders will act more like spoiled children than adults and certainly when we look at this there's a lot of ammo to put towards that argument. >> he will with, you can point a finger to each party but the fact is that the american people were very clear that they believe that what the president had to offer was very clear what he wanted to do with the fiscal issue. republicans need to fall in line. we're not going to relate gate the election. republicans lost seats in the house and in the senate. they lost the presidency. they need to move forward and deal with this fiscal cliff and then we can come back in 2013 and deal with some of these other issues. >> some of us would like to know what is being between president obama. there is analysis in the political playbook, both what they are thinking and won't say to each other when it comes to
the fiscal cliff. if you want concessions, you need to man up and ask for them, which you haven't done. and then there's what speaker boehner might be thinking but not saying and you can't play hard and if you just walk with races. when you look at that, what do you think? >> probably. he usually does. but i haven't seen anything real to tell me that we're not going over the fiscal cliff and if we're doing that, according to all of the polling, it's going to be harder on republicans in terms of the public opinion than it is on democrats. you would think that that would give him another reason to get
serious about this. i just think if the argument boils down to protecting that top 2% from having any kind of, you know, souped up responsibility on the tax side and on the other side what it boils down to is asking people to wait -- people who are not full of means who have worked hard all their lives, who are going to ask them to wait five more years to retire? that's a pretty tough sell for the public. >> another development that happened yesterday, hogan, let's talk about the resignation of your state's junior senator, jim demint. does this help or hurt the tea party, republican party overall? >> it depends on who governor haley puts in his place. i think the movement will be greatly helped by senator
demint's departure because it's the most dleb ra tif body, the u.s. senate. and that's one of the reasons that mike huckabee decided not to run when he was u.s. governor. being an executive allows you to make decisions and the u.s. senate is no place for executive decisions. jim demint will be able to have more range and espouse the views that he believes in and governor haley, the people that she's talking about, he's a tea party candidate and a darling of the tea party. he's raised a few concerns with the bailout of boeing. and the symbolism for -- is what better? >> jim demint leaving and going to the heritage foundation. >> i don't know that it's better or worse. i guess it depends on who they put in the office. jim demint has been a thorn in the side of republicans. so whoever he puts in there
needs to roll-up their sleeves and get the job done. there are some statements floating around. we'll wait and see. >> a busy day. my power panel, thank you. appreciate it. >> thanks. the united nations is putting up a serious front to warn syria not to use chemical weapons on their own people. what are the options on the table? [ woman ] ring. ring. progresso. i just finished a bowl of your new light chicken pot pie soup and it's so rich and creamy... is it really 100 calories? let me put you on webcan...
...lean roasted chicken... and a creamy broth mmm i can still see you. [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup. go ahead, mark your calendars. mmm i can still see you. it's the last day you can switch your medicare part d plan. we're ready, and we can't wait to switch. what i wanted was simple: the most value for my dollar. so, now that it's time, we're making the move to a plan that really works for us. [ male announcer ] make the switch to an aarp medicarerx plan, insured through unitedhealthcare. open enrollment starts october 15th and ends december 7th. call now for a free information kit. you'll receive a summary of plan benefits and an enrollment form. discover why these part d plans are so popular with over 4 million plan members and counting. with predictable copays and plans with no annual deductible, you could start saving with your first prescription. plus, we'll be covered at like 60,000 pharmacies. so if we visit our kids in portland
or go anywhere in the country, we know we're covered. [ male announcer ] the new preferred pharmacy network lets you enjoy copays for as low as $1 at thousands of pharmacies in retail locations like these. unitedhealthcare has worked to get low costs for plan members. [ man ] i called the moment i heard about it. i even got help picking out the perfect plan for me. so did my wife. it was easy -- really easy. now we'll be happy with our coverage, we'll know what our copays are, and you know what else? we won't have to deal with our old part d plans again. december 7th is coming. i'm glad we're switching. [ male announcer ] open enrollment starts october 15th and ends december 7th. so make the switch to an aarp medicarerx plan. you could even get the plan with the lowest part d premium in the u.s. call now for a free information kit. you'll receive a summary of plan benefits and an enrollment form. aarp medicarerx plans insured through unitedhealthcare.
call today. ♪ well, having a ton of locations doesn't hurt. and a santa to boot! [ chuckles ] right, baby. oh, sir. that is a customer. oh...sorry about that. [ male announcer ] break from the holiday stress. fedex office. there are growing fears that the syrian military will use chemical weapons on its own people and neighbors. the military loaded the first stage of chemical weapons that could be deployed as aerial bombs but the rebels say that they are gaining momentum, having gained weapons from the military. secretary of state hillary clinton says that the u.s. stands by the syrian people and not president assad. >> the united states stands with the syrian people in insisting that any transition process
result in a unified democratic syria in which all citizens are represented. the future of this kind cannot possibly include assad. >> meanwhile, senator john mccain has said that the u.s. needs to take action. >> we do know absolutely that these weapons have been readied for use by bashar assad's aircraft. we urge the president of the united states to make whatever military preparations are necessary. >> joining me now, joel ruben. thank you for joining me. have they already crossed the red line that the president put out for intervention? should the u.s. intervene, as senator mccain is asking for? >> the situation in syria is something we've never seen before. we have a country collapsing and this country has significant
weapons of mass destruction. syria has not signed a chemical weapons convention. they have not, however, moved to use these weapons but they are, according to what we know from the reporting, they are beginning to move these out of storage and the question is, what options do we have and right now the primary option is to ensure that the message is clear to assad and those around him that he cannot use these weapons in any form whatsoever and it seems to have heightened international diplomatic activity, particularly with russia in terms of getting that message out that that's a red line that can't be passed. >> how essential is russia being involved? >> russia is key. russia has been backing assad diplomatically at the u.n. and has deep ties into assad's regime. if they begin to walk away from syria and there appear to be signals that they are distancing themselves, that will put
pressure on those around assad to make sure that they do not take assad's lead in potentially using these weapons and helpses move towards the resolution of this. >> you have a ground strategy perhaps being considered and then you have an air strategy. air seems to be the one that's being discussed most because it can be most surgical. is there such a thing when we're talking about chemical weapons as being a surgical military option? >> there is not a clear surgical military it would take 75,000 troops to secure the sites that we know of, dropping ordinance on-sites that have sarin and even mustard gas and other nerve agents can be very damaging, get blown away in the wind. it's not clear this is surgical. the key thing is to ensure this country doesn't implode, that there's a managed transition, that assad has moved out in a manner that does latch up with the political process that
secretary clinton described of international support for the opposition, pulling russia in. this is a very delicate balance. we haven't seen this before. >> joel ruben, director of policy and government affairs, thank you so much. >> thank you. there's lots of speculation over who might replace jim deminute in the senate including not so obvious choices. the policy side bar is next for you. boomers approaching retirement and afraid you'll be bored and unhappy. some tips. make future plans to do things you've always wanted to do like travel or write that novel. get involved in community activities, volunteer to help others. make new friends. join organizations with members that share your interestses. and stay healthy and stay sharp. consider taking adult ed or college courses. [ male announcer ] alka-seltzer plus presents the cold truth. i have a cold, and i took nyquil, but i'm still "stubbed" up.
[ male announcer ] truth is, nyquil doesn't unstuff your nose. what? [ male announcer ] it doesn't have a decongestant. no way. [ male announcer ] sorry. alka-seltzer plus fights your worst cold symptoms plus has a fast acting decongestant to relieve your stuffy nose. [ sighs ] thanks! [ male announcer ] you're welcome. that's the cold truth! [ male announcer ] alka-seltzer plus. ♪ oh what a relief it is! ♪ [ male announcer ] to learn more about the cold truth and save $1 visit alka-seltzer on facebook. with scottrader streaming quotes, any way you want. fully customize it for your trading process --
from thought to trade, on every screen. and all in real time. which makes it just like having your own trading floor, right at your fingertips. [ rodger ] at scottrade, seven dollar trades are just the start. try our easy-to-use scottrader streaming quotes. it's another reason more investors are saying... [ all ] i'm with scottrade.
>> i've never done this before. >> well, that's the president's top strategist david axelrod squinting as the stash gets slashed in front of everybody. the first time he's had a completely clean face in 40 years, he says. it was all for a good cause after raising a million bucks for the epilepsy charity he founded. could mark sanford be making a political comeback? the former governor of south carolina not ruling out a run for jim demint's seat in 2014. he told "the wall street journal" it's not a no, but not a yes. he was once a rising star in the rising party before an extramarital affair derailed his career. nikki haley gets to pick a replacement. comedy central's stephen colbert hinted at another unlikely candidate. >> but who will she pick? let's see. want somebody young, somebody conservative, somebody from south carolina, maybe somebody who had a super pac. wait a second.
[ applause ] watch where you point that thing. it's powerful. okay. >> that wandering f infinger. colbert took himself out of the running with her when he could not name the state drink which is milk. thomas roberts will be back on monday at 11:00 eastern time. "now" with alex wagner. my favorite was the stash. he looks five years younger. >> he does. i'm uncomfortable seeing david axelrod without the mustache. it's wrong but so right he raised so much money. >> he did a great job. >> we have a big show today. the unemployment rate may have ticked down last month, but will it prevent the country from falling off the fiscal cliff? new reports say president obama and john boehner are going mono
mono with negotiations. ayman jabbers will join us with a live report. a tea party king maker and now jim demint says he can advances conservative causes effectively outside the senate while he makes a bunch of money at a think tank. brand old party problems with michael steele. and, frack baby frack? maybe. we'll get into the great energy debate with chris hayes when he joins me, joy reid, joan walsh and ben smith, all of that when "now" starts in a mere 180 seconds. stop! stop! stop! come back here! humans -- we are beautifully imperfect creatures living in an imperfect world.
that's why liberty mutual insurance has your back with great ideas like our optional better car replacement. if your car is totaled, we give you the money to buy one a model year newer. call... and ask one of our insurance experts about it today. hello?! we believe our customers do their best out there in the world, and we do everything we can to be there for them when they need us. [car alarm blaring] call now and also ask about our 24/7 support and service. call... and lock in your rate for 12 months today. liberty mutual insurance. responsibility. what's your policy?